April 28, 2013
Kevin Hensley

WWE Main Event Review
By: Kevin Hensley
April 17, 2013 (Taped April 16, 2013)
Knoxville, TN at the Thompson-Boling Arena
Commentators: Michael Cole & John “Bradshaw” Layfield

-Main event open, with full pyro, despite the fact that the Thompson-Boling Arena website specifices NO PYROTECHNICS ALLOWED. Ah, WWE, how you maneuver yourself around arena stipulations with ease. And with the crowd on hand, WWE had a good argument to use. Besides, pyro never hurt anybody. In Knoxville. Yet. Anyway…

-We are welcomed to this week’s Main Event with wrestlers already in the ring. It looks like we’re kicking things off with a Battle Royal! The winner will face Wade Barrett after the battle royal ends, for the WWE Intercontinental Championship! Speaking of Barrett, here he comes to, ahem, WISH GOOD LUCK to the participants. Except he doesn’t, and proceeds to OWN the wrestlers involved by telling them (cue Mr. McMahon’s music…you know the rest. NO!!! I hear The Great Khali’s music interrupting Barrett’s promo. Sure enough, here comes Hornswoggle, Natalya, and then Wade turns around and bumps into Khali, who walks past him to enter the battle royal. Anyway, the bell rings, here we go!

1. Battle Royal: Winner gets IC title shot later tonight
-Since this is a battle royal, I’m not going to give you play-by-play analysis. That would prove to be impossible, so we’ll just list the elimination and any MAJOR events. The participants are: Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal (representing the 3MB, BABYYYYYYYY!,) The Great Khali (ugh,) Primo & Epico (wearing mis-matching black and blue trunks, respectively,) Santino Marella, ALEX RILEY (HE LIVES!) Yoshi Tatsu, Justin Gabriel and The Usos. An Uso gets eliminated first, by Drew McIntyre, at 2:08. Tatsu follows shortly after by Primo. Khali marches around at the speed of a snail, and eliminates Epico at 3:44, and then Jinder Mahal gets dumped out eight seconds later. Khali remembers which camera to pose toward, and we go to break 4:04 into the match.

[Commercial Break]

-THE UNDERTAKER will be on Raw Monday! He’ll team up with Team Hell No! to face The Shield. London, HERE WE COME!!!

-Back from break, Great Khali gets teamed up on, but fights them all off. Wade Barrett is watching intently backstage, and is able to celebrate a few moments later, as they all gang up on Khali again and SUCCESSFULLY eliminate him, at 5:52, IMMEDIATELY driving this match up one star from what it was. He looked WAY out of place, with all the talent in the ring. Now let’s see what these guys can do with that lumber out of the way. Riley gets a chance to shine by eliminating the other Uso with a dropkick at 6:35. Alex doesn’t get to celebrate long, as Drew McIntyre battles with him, Riley fights him off, then Primo comes in with a dropkick of his own to eliminate Riley at 7:10. Ah, poetic justice. Your final four are Santino, Primo, Drew McIntyre and Justin Gabriel. Marella knocks Primo through the ropes with the COBRA, and then McIntyre wins the heart of millions by stopping all that nonsense by chucking Santino OUT at 8:26. There’s ½ a star there. Gabriel and McIntyre battle, Gabriel eliminates him. Primo tries to sneak attack Justin, but he back-drops him over the top rope and Gabriel wins!

Winner: Justin Gabriel in 9:21. It’s hard to rate battle royals, but we’ll go * ½.

-After a replay of the finish, Matt Striker interviews Gabriel on his win. Justin says the standard “we were once friends” line directed toward Barrett. THE NEXUS COLLIDES, WITH GOLD ON THE LINE, LATER TONIGHT!!!

-BUT BEFORE THAT! WE GOTTA SHOW YOU 20 MINUTES OF RECAP FOOTAGE! Up first, the World Heavyweight Championship situation, and a graphic for the Triple Threat Match between Ziggler, Del Rio & Swagger at Extreme Rules.

-ON THE FLIP SIDE OF THIS BREAK, why did CM Punk walk out in the middle of a promo on Raw Monday night? My money’s on poor health, needs some rest, but for you, the fans? Find out next!

[Commercial Break]

-Before we go back to Main Event, download the WWE App, NOW! If you already have, apparently it’s time for an update.

-DID YOU KNOW? Last week’s Raw and Smackdown! beat out CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC & ESPN in social activity. To the excitement of no one.

-We see CM Punk highlights from Raw Monday, then a “prepared statement” from Paul Heyman briefly touches the subject, then transitions NICELY to the Brock Lesnar/Triple-H story (that’s our third recap, in case you’re keeping count,) and we get to see Lesnar DESTORY 3MB on Raw Monday, then issue a challenge (well, Heyman did it, but Brock stood there and smiled,) for Lesnar/HHH III at Extreme Rules, in what’s being dubbed an “old-fashioned” steel cage match. Steel cage matches are NOT old fashioned, and when used properly, can help sell a match to a crowd like NOTHING ELSE. Triple-H will answer Lesnar’s challenge in London next Monday night.

-IT’S TIME FOR SOME WRESTLING! The IC title match is next…

-NO IT’S NOT!!! Backstage, Striker interviews Barrett. He cuts a promo on R-Truth, and then turns his attention to Justin Gabriel. The “next” graphic flashes on the screen, but will it happen? Let’s see…

[Commercial Break]

-We get a graphic for the main event of Smackdown! this Friday, then head to the ring, where Tony Chimel introduces Barrett, already in the ring. Interesting, the champ doesn’t get an entrance, but the challenger does. Here comes Justin, refreshed after 20-something minutes of rest. Scott Armstrong holds up the SWANK white IC title belt, rings the bell, here we go!

2. Justin Gabriel VS WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett: TITLE MATCH
-Gabriel tries a schoolboy, but Barrett shrugs him off, turns around into a side headlock. Wade pushes Justin into the ropes, and shoulderblocks him down, poses, leaps over, blocks a hip toss, but Gabriel flips out of Barrett’s hip toss attempt, lands some shots and a leg sweep to drop Barrett face-first into the mat. LA MAGISTRAL gets 1, 2, no. Back up, Wade hammers away at Justin, and off the ropes, Wade drops an elbow, gets a 1 count. Barrett hammers away, Irish whip, Gabriel baseball slides UNDER Barrett (nice,) and lands some kicks, a snapmare takeover and a kick SQUARE in the spine. Ow. Stiff, fast-paced action so far. Justin breaks out an OKLAHOMA ROLL for 1, 2, no. Wade rolls outside, sells the back. He probably wasn’t selling, that hurt me to watch it. Barrett back in, circles Gabriel, suckers Gabriel in for some kicks, punches, etc. in the corner until Armstrong pulls him away. Wade grabs Justin and lands a neckbreaker to 1, 2, no. Barrett returns the favor by landing a kick FLUSH in the back. Again, ow! Barrett chokes Gabriel on the second rope, breaks at three, catches Justin between the second and top rope (a familiar spot,) and Gabriel has done his homework as HE catches Wade with a boot of his own. Nice scouting, there. Barrett charges, Gabriel tosses him off, tries a crossbody, Wade moves, Justin lands on his feet and is greeted with a huge clothesline. That’ll take us to break 3:13 into the match.

-A QUICK REMINDER! THE SHOW YOU’RE WATCHING RIGHT NOW, AIRS…RIGHT NOW ON ION TELEVISION! YOU MIGHT GET TO SEE THE MIZ! Ok, THAT’S more likely than the Cena ads, but eh…

[Commercial Break]

-Back from break, Gabriel is hammering out of a chinlock; Barrett ducks a clothesline and catches Gabriel with a thrust kick to the gut. Wade picks him up, and lands a PUMPHANDLE SLAM for 1, 2, nada. Barrett next scoops up Gabriel, lays him chest-first across the top turnbuckle, CLUBBERS the back of Justin until reprimand from Scott Armstrong has him back off, then he charges and punts Justin onto the apron. Wade picks him back up, lands a snap suplex, floats over and gets a 2 count. Nice sequence there. Barrett locks in a chinlock, Gabriel wills his way back up, with Knoxville behind him, BUT RUNS INTO THE DREADED KNEE TO THE GUT! Hadn’t seen it in a few weeks on Main Event, been missing it. Barrett ties up Gabriel for the BIG BOOT, and this time connects, sending Justin crumpling to the floor, in front of the announce table. Wade poses for the crowd, thanking them for their support, and the crowd responds in kind. Gabriel milks the count, gets back in at 8.9999999999 and is greeted by boots to the gut for his trouble. Wade picks him up and nails a short-arm clothesline for 1, 2, and 2.9999999. Barrett locks in a submission, where he puts his knee in Gabriel’s back and bends the arms. Looks painful, trust me. Justin fights out, gets in the corner, Wade charges and runs into a DROP TOEHOLD INTO THE TOP TURNBUCKLE. That was…different, but AWESOME. After they trade some blows, Justin runs into a ONE-MAN FLAPJACK! With some serious hang time, I might add. 1, 2, no. Wade can’t put Justin away, and the frustration shows on his face. Barrett picks Gabriel up into a fireman’s carry, Justin elbows off, catches a charging Wade with two feet to the face, ducks outside and hits a SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY for 1, 2, not yet. I’m LOVING this match, by the way. High rating coming. Now Justin sells some frustration, heads up top, Wade charges, Gabriel jumps over, turns around and runs into WASTELAND! 1, 2, 2.9999999999999 ½. Barrett is BEGGING for a three-count at this point. Wade tries another pumphandle, Justin flips out, sticks a reverse DDT, a kick to the mush, then a quick follow-up with a SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT for 1, 2, NO! SWEET! Justin gets Wade down again, goes up for the 450, but Barrett WISELY rolls outside to the apron. Gabriel is baited in, and Barrett nails a THUMB TO THE EYE (seriously, when’s the last time you saw that?) loads up the elbow and hits the BULL HAMMER, while still on the apron! Barrett steps back in, hooks the leg and gets the three-count.

Winner: Wade Barrett to retain the IC title at 10:37. That was a great match, that could’ve gone longer (in my opinion,) but we gotta get in those recaps! Some great moves broken out here, and I’m a huge fan of using moves not seen in EVERY…SINGLE…MATCH. For that, this gets *** ½, only because with more time, it could’ve got more.

-After a replay of the finish, Wade poses on the 2nd rope with his belt, towering over a fallen Justin Gabriel. Great camera angle and visual.

-NEXT! HOW DARE RYBACK TURN HIS BACK ON JOHN CENA??? What? You didn’t know he did? Our 4th (count them, 1, 2, 3, 4) recap comes your way, NEXT!

[Commercial Break]

-Back from break, and we see the history of John Cena and Ryback.

-Main Event closes with that AWESOME camera angle I mentioned at the conclusion of the Barrett/Gabriel match.

FINAL THOUGHTS: An up-and-down episode of Main Event. A ho-hum battle royal, almost RUINED by the mere presence of The Great Khali, then the lowest valley of recaps, then we peaked with a BALLS TO THE WALL IC title match. For that match alone, I’m going to be generous and go ***, but PLEASE stop showing so many recaps!

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